While neonicotinoid pesticides can harm honey bees, a new study by Washington State University researchers shows that the substances pose little risk to bees in real-world settings.
The team of WSU entomologists studied apiaries. . . in Washington state, looking at potential honey bee colony exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides from pollen foraging. The results were published in the Journal of Economic Entomology (http://jee.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/01/19/jee.tov397) this spring.
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“Calculating risk, which is the likelihood that bad things will happen to a species based on a specific hazard or dose, is very different from calculating hazard, which is the potential to cause harm . . .,” said co-author Allan Felsot. . . .
“Most of what has dominated the literature recently regarding neonicotinoids and honey bees has been hazard identification,” he said. “But hazardous exposures are not likely to occur in a real-life setting.”
Felsot said . . . the risk of bee exposure to neonicotinoids is small because bees aren’t exposed to enough of the pesticide to cause much harm in a real-world scenario.
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. . . .[I]t is still important to . . . follow product label directions. . . .“People need to be careful with pesticide use to avoid acute exposure.”
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